Increasing cost of living

Commons Library publications on the rising cost of living in the UK, including cause of inflation, the effect on households, and Government support.

The cost of living has been increasing in the UK since early 2021. In June 2022, inflation reached a 40-year high of 9.4%.

The price of food, goods, energy and fuel have been increasing the most, due to high demand from customers and problems with supply chains. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also contributed.

Because of increasing energy costs, a new energy price cap came into force in April 2022, which effectively raised energy bills by 54%. New price caps in October 2022 and January 2023 will raise energy bills further. On 16 June, the Bank of England forecasted CPI inflation to reach just over 11% in October .

The Government announced support measures for households in February, March and May 2022. The support, estimated at £37 billion, includes a council tax rebate, payments to pensioners and those receiving Universal Credit and other benefits, a cut to fuel duty and help with energy bills.

Low-income households are most affected by high food and energy prices. Households have reported cutting back on essential spending. The poorest households report skipping meals or using food banks.

Library briefings on the cost of living

Rising cost of living in the UK

This briefing gives covers rising prices, particularly food, energy and fuel prices, including the effect of the conflict in Ukraine. It explains Government support and how high prices, interest rates and other policies will affect household budgets.

Inflation and the economy

Economic update: Records broken as prices rise

This Insight analyses inflation, the Government’s debt interest payments, and the economic outlook in July 2022

Inflation: Key economic indicators

This briefing provides data on the Consumer Price Index and Retail Price Index inflation indices.

Economic Indicators

Find  summaries of the latest UK economic data

UK economy dashboard

This interactive dashboard shows data on economic growth, inflation, trade, employment, government borrowing and debt across the UK.

Energy prices

Energy Bills Support Scheme: Government policy and FAQs

The Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme will provide a £400 discount on electricity bills to help households with the rising cost of energy. This briefing summarises the policy, first announced in February and updated in May and July 2022.

Fuel poverty in the UK

This briefing looks at how fuel poverty varies across the UK, policies to address fuel poverty, and stakeholder comments.

Domestic energy prices

This briefing looks at how and why household energy prices have changed since 2010.

Petrol and diesel prices

This briefing looks at how and why prices of petrol and diesel have changed since 1989.

Taxation of road fuels

This briefing discusses the approach taken by Labour, Coalition and Conservative Governments to taxing road fuels since 2010.

The effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on prices

The effect of the war in Ukraine on UK farming and food production

This debate pack discusses how the Ukraine conflict is affecting UK food prices.

Support for households with increasing cost of living

The Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill 2022-23

This briefing paper discusses the Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill 2022-23, introduced in the House of Commons on 15 June 2022, which gained Royal Assent on 28 June 2022.

Department for Work and Pensions spending on the cost of living support

This briefing provides background information on the rising cost of living and covers the Department for Work and Pensions’ spending plans to support households.

How rising prices are affecting households

Poverty in the UK: statistics

This briefing provides levels and rates of poverty in the UK, including how the rising cost of living is affecting people in poverty.

Food banks

This briefing provides statistics from the Trussell Trust and the Independent Food Aid Network on the number of food banks and food bank use. It also looks at the effect of the rising cost of living on foodbanks.

Rent and housing costs

What is affordable housing?

This briefing discusses the affordability of private renting and home ownership, and the supply of affordable housing.

The rent safety net: Changes since 2010

This briefing covers the savings made through changes to Housing Benefit and the Universal Credit housing cost element since 2010, as well as the impact of these policies and the debates on them.

Constituency data: House prices

This dashboard provides constituency-level data on house prices and shows the affordability of house prices in each area in England and Wales.

Students

The value of student maintenance support

This briefing looks at the levels of public maintenance support for students in England. It particularly focusses on recent levels of support, how these compare to inflation, how much parental contribition is needed and whether the overall level of support is adequate.

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